Champs for Charity – Bittersweet

Chicago, IL — Friday night was a bittersweet night for Chicago hockey fans as some of the members of the 2010 Blackhawks Championship reunited for an exhibition game that played like an All Star game for charity. The event was a smashing success on many levels.

The event was the brainchild of former Blackhawk and current San Jose Shark Adam Burish and his agent. The proceeds of the event, which raised 325,000 went to a great cause the Ronald McDonald house of the greater Chicago and NW Indiana area. The event was pulled together in two weeks time with no marketing or advertising but by simple word of mouth to keep costs contained and still managed to draw close to 12,000 fans.

What became glaringly obvious was how much Chicago misses hockey and how much there is a love affair between Blackhawk fans and the players who were on the 2010 Championship team. Former Hawks Andrew Ladd, Adam Burish, Brian ‘Soupy’ Campbell, Troy Brouwer and Jack Dowell all came back and received heroes welcomes. It was evident these guys are truly missed.

It was good to see how the former Hawks Ladd, Burish and Brouwer clicked just like they were back on the Blackhawks. The chemistry between them is still there as was the timing and skills shined just like it  did back in 2010. It took no time at all for them to slip right back into their old familiar shenanigans as well.

What was also apparent was Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp are just magic together. These guys just click. Patrick Kane had so many goals you lost count as he ended up with the MVP. Kane is  very at home in games like this and is a superstar and boy did his star shine that night. It was also obvious that these guys miss playing with each other and relished their opportunity to play together again. Who knows when they will be playing together again in a Hawks uniform.

This made the night bittersweet as everyone there while thoroughly entertained with a semi strip show from Mr. Burish and a mock coach/opposing player fight courtesy of Daniel Carcillo jumping the Champs bench and getting into a mock tussle with Champs celeb coach Ryan Dempster, had to have been thinking when will we see these guys again on ice in Chicago?

Just as fans wondered when we would see them again on the ice, the players had to have had similar thoughts. The players had to feel the connection that this city and fans have with them. Who knows where they will all end up in the next several weeks and months and what for that matter what will the NHL be like when they return.

Chicago hockey fans were also treated to the skills of Jordan Staal, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Suter, Ville Leno who played for the world team. Now when will Chicago ever be in a position to see all of these guys together on the same team? The skills exhibited on that side were equally apparent even though these guys do not normally play together.

For one night things were as they should be. Skilled players were allowed to demonstrate their speed and hockey prowess, fans were allowed to cheer for their favorite players & boo the opposition. Fun was had by all and in the process money was raised for a cause that is so much larger than the NHL & NHLPA’s problems. Yes everything was right with the world for several hours in Allstate Arena in Chicago on Friday.

Now if this can be accomplished with a little ingenuity, work and want to, who knows what the NHL and NHLPA could accomplish if they so choose. One thing that Chicago does not like is being kept from the players they adore and want their Blackhawks back on the ice as much as the players want to play.

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